Ever since I caught the gardening bug a few years ago February always makes me antsy to get outside and start digging around- something I have surely inherited from my Grandmother and Mother. I remember sitting by the wood stove with my Mom around this time of year- she would have her plant books out- scraps of paper tagging seemingly random pages- a piece of lined school paper at her elbow as she mapped out the yard and her planting plan for the coming Spring.
I get that now as I poke around at my container garden assessing the situation weekly- seeing what has started sprouting- the garlic and my rose bush- checking to see what made it through the winter- our strawberry plants, rosemary and lavender are all hanging on. We have very limited space but for downtown in the heart of the city our patio is a luxury and we try to use it to it's fullest potential- we have some big plans for this coming planting season!
Although bulbs are starting to poke through the soil and branches are blushing red with flowing sap it is not time to plant any fragile seeds as yet- Luckily for me I have this nifty little indoor mushroom garden to try out- a birthday gift from friends this past weekend. I started it this morning and can't wait to see the results in a couple of weeks!
Also at the for front of my mind right now is our composting situation- we are pretty fortunate to have organics composting in our building- the program is through the city of Vancouver and makes composting a breeze. The kitchen scraps get taken out to a giant composting site ( I think in Richmond) and once the compost is turned into soil it is slated to nourish the trees and gardens of our city and the off gasses will eventually be harnessed for power. Our family has a lot of kitchen scraps- thanks to all the veg we eat we have buckets of compost a week- I look at my garden and think wouldn't it be nice to have some of that compost for myself?
I am considering our own composting set up out on our deck- we have the space and thanks to our friend Kate we have the inspiration to make the leap- check out her You Tube videos on composting with kids- click here and here for Part 1 and Part 2! A quick trip to Lee Valley Tools should get us set up with a decent sized rolling compost system. Lets be honest there is no such thing as a quick or cheap trip to Lee Valley- on my wish list this year is the portable Potato growing system- perfect for deck gardening although it is a seasonal item and not in store yet- the cedar potting bench, a handful of these beautiful copper dishes for under my smaller pots and finally I am loving these flower towers which I think would make a great compact home for our strawberries which currently take up a lot of real estate!
So while the rain pours down outside my window I start to dream of a lush, green container garden growing right out my door- providing us with treats, salads, herbs and this year lots of kale- so much kale! While I may not have a wood stove to cozy up to and the Internet is my guide book I feel connected to my Mom sitting in February planning and dreaming- a connection that spans the mountains!
P.S. if you live in Vancouver you can purchase a backyard composter through the city- check it out!